So I’m here today as chair of the government scientific and technical advisory group on vaccines and this is a high-powered group that gets together regularly to look at the now quite extensive array of potential vaccines around the world and advise the Australian government on purchases.
We have now got four vaccines that we have secured plus our partnership in the Covax facility, the international buying potential to provide another vaccine if that comes up in the future, but these four vaccines give us over 134 million doses of vaccines and it’s a diversified array of vaccines.
We now have two what we call protein sub-unit vaccines, the University of Queensland CSL vaccine, and now the Novavax vaccine.
Protein vaccines are the most established technology and so it’s good to have two of those to make sure that we can – we have a choice depending on the results of the phase 3 clinical trials of how we use them.
We’re also, as you know, have the AstraZeneca Oxford vaccine which is [non-replicating viral vector vaccine] which is looking increasingly promising as its trials progress.
And now, of course, we now have the access to the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.
This is a very exciting new technology. MRNA vaccines have not previously been registered for human use and we now have this as well. It is a diversified strategy.
As the prime minister has said, we still have to wait for phase 3 clinical trials, we still have to see which vaccine works better in which population and how effectively, but we have not put all our eggs in the one basket.
We have diversified our strategy and we have the capacity now to start vaccinating the Australian population in the first quarter of next year which is a terrific outcome and gives us a very, very strong position internationally in access to vaccines.